EE and HTC move beyond mobile
This week both EE and HTC unveiled ambitions to move beyond the mobile market and into connected devices. HTC’s expansion beyond mobile comes as the company lowered its 2015 revenue outlook for Q2, announcing a ‘slow demand for high-end Android devices’. The manufacturer has turned its attention to connected devices in the hope that it will strengthen its mobile offering, with partnerships already secured with a sports and virtual reality brand.
EE announced the launch of the new ‘4GEE Action Cam’ this week, with the network predicting that it will be selling more connected devices than smartphones by 2017. Until now, manufacturers, such as Huawei, HTC and Samsung, have spearheaded the move into connected devices and Internet of Things. All that could be about to change with EE’s CEO Olaf Swantee planning to lead the network race, saying that the network plans to become the ‘first operator in the world to move beyond mobile.’
Apple Pay lands in the UK
Apple announced this week that its mobile payments service, Apple Pay, will be hitting the UK in July. While contactless payments are widely accepted and used, mobile payments have yet to breakthrough in the UK market. However, with a number of well-known retailers, restaurants and businesses planning to support Apple Pay, things could be about to change.
Apple and Google’s mobile payment systems have gained traction in the US and Apple Pay’s launch will be a popularity test of mobile payments in the UK. With Android Pay recently launched stateside, Apple Pay’s UK debut could create a platform to make tapping a phone more commonplace than tapping a bank card.
Ofcom talks tough
Ofcom flexed its regulatory muscle this week, implementing a number of measures to challenge the mobile and broadband providers and empower customers, making it easier to switch if they are unhappy with the provider. Ofcom’s new chief executive, Sharon White stepped into Ed Richard’s shoes by putting the heat on the industry by demanding clearer contracts and improved customer service.
White entered into her role claiming that a ‘lighter touch’ must be taken towards the telecoms sector, however the gloves appeared to come off as she slammed providers for not having the consumers best interests, saying an intervention is necessary. Her comments have removed any doubt as to how she plans to lead the regulator, securing her tough stance by warning that she will ‘set the bar high.’